Day Five For Me and So Much Pain!

When will the pain stop?  I tried to go to work today but only made it half way because of the pain.

I had a gingival graft.  Flesh was removed from the right side of my pallet and grafted in as connective tissue to the fronts of four bottom, front teeth.  My two teeth in the bottom front had the most recession.

I was told that the graft on those two front teeth probably wouldn't cover the root because there was hardly any gum to actually connect the graft to.  They were trying to create a thicker gum line there by doing the graft and hopefully prevent my bottom two front teeth from completely teetering out of my skull.

Day 1 - Day of Surgery
I had surgery at 10:45 AM on a Thursday.  I was told most people have it done on a Friday and are back to work on Monday, so I thought "BONUS, I'll have an extra day to recover."  The surgery took about an hour and a half.  I was given sleeping pills to relax beforehand, and some gas just before, as I don't get relaxed very easily.  I even was able to ask the surgeon some questions at points during the surgery when my mouth wasn't filled with equipment.  No pain, other than the needles.  Got home, didn't even feel sleepy.  Laid ice on my jaw which felt good.  Took a pain pill 4 hours after surgery and took a nap after that.   No major pain complaints.  Brushed the teeth that weren't next to stitches and did my rinse.  Fell to sleep just fine.  Slightly swollen, but not really noticeable.  No bruises.

Day 2
On Vicoden (sp?) and no pain.  Mostly cleaned the house!  Applied more ice.  Was feeling fine.  Ate yogurt, scrambled eggs, pudding, and cooled soup, as was not supposed to have hot foods.  Wasn't very hungry, over all.  I did have some bleeding during the night from the donation site on the roof of my mouth, so when I woke up the back of my tongue had a nasty coating of blood.  It tasted disgusting and I couldn't wait to get my toothbrush back there to scrub it off.  Again, brushed what I could, and did my rinse.  A little more swollen, but no bruises yet.  I noticed that the surgeon had cut of the skin tag from the inside of my bottom lip.  I have a gap in my bottom teeth and ever since the gap formed (when I had braces) I've also developed this little flap of skin that fits in the gap.  Nice to have that gone.  The nurse from my surgery called to follow up with me.  "How nice," I thought.  Little did I know it was because they were not going to back to the office for a week!

Day 3

I had some plans, because this was Saturday.  Unfortunately I had only 10 vicodens to start, and had only three left by Saturday AM.  Maybe I overused?  I took them every 4-5 hours.  Saturday day went OK, but I was giving myself extra time, trying to make the meds last.  I started to feel the pain when the pills wore off, and they took a while to kick in when I finally took them, so I kept taking them every 5 hours.  I thought maybe on Day 4 I'd wake up and everything would be magically healed.  Hey, I gave myself an extra day to recover, remember?  That night (Saturday) I started to feel the pain for reals.  Top of mouth (donor site) was raw and tasted metallic like a really bad burn or scratch.  But that's the best part.  The worst is the graft site, which feels thick and aches and is also itchy.  It feels like the nerves of the exposes roots of my teeth are really, really angry at me.  They ache and itch and sometimes the pain gets a little sharper like the skin between lip and bone is torn.  I wonder if that sensation is the result of the skin tag being removed?  Got a little cocky and brushed the teeth near the donar site on top.  That was a mistake.  The wound started to bleed and is back to feeling raw again after almost feeling normal for a day.

Day 4

Sunday.  Skipped church because my bottom gumline felt like I had a knife wedged in it.  No more vicoden left.  Took some Ibuprofen and two hours later a 1 mg dose of extra strength Tylonol.  This got me up long enough to go to the Farmer's Market with my husband.  As soon as I got within 20 minutes of my next Tylonol dose it was back to the knife-wedged-in-gums feeling.  Itchy and Achy.  I started to get worried about over dosing on Tylonol, so wouldn't allow myself to take next dose until a full four hours.  Muddled through the day very unhappily and in pain.  Argued with husband.  Went with him to our storage unit to bring some stuff back and posted it on Craig's list.  Very grumpy, very much in pain.  Brushed.  Rinsed.  Yay.

Day 5

Today!  Slept very unsoundly.  It's hotter than usual and my pain kept waking me up.  I'm already not a morning person, so was 30 minutes late to work.  I am starting a new job next week after five years at my current company, so I really need to be present to finish up my work and start my new job.  Doesn't look like I'm going to be able to give my last week my full attention.  I got up late, and didn't have time to eat this AM.  Took a dose of Tylonol when I first got up and again at work at almost 10.  Doesn't seem to be making a dent now, but then again, maybe the Tylonol only takes away the knife-pain and not the itching and achiness.  Mostly I have the achiness and itching now.  The swelling is slightly down in my cheeks, but now I have a bruise on one side of my cheek.  Easy enough to cover with makeup though.  Also, now that the swelling is going down the graft feels extra thick. 
I finally got the nerve to peer down at the graft.  I was told not to pull my bottom lip out to look.  I didn't.  I just sort of hung my head over let my lip fall away and peaked.  Everything is pink, so it's probably, ironically, healing perfectly, despite my torture.  Was feeling light-headed at work and when, after lunch, the feeling got worse I simply went in a told my boss I had to go.  He drove me the few blocks home (I usually walk).  I called my surgeon at home because his office is closed until Thursday for the holiday.  I told him it hurt.  Bad.  He said usually people don't get much pain by now.  He told me to take four ibuprofen (instead of tylonol) and then in six hours to take 3 every 4 hours.  He also had me start taking an antibiotic I had on hand (I was mis-diagnosed with a skin infection last week but it turned out to be just skin irritation so I never took the meds.) in case the pain was due to slight infection.  Somehow I don't think it's an infection, though.  The swelling IS going down, and the pain isn't getting worse.  Whatever.  Doctors over-prescribe anti-biotics.  I'll take them anyway, because if I don't and it IS an infection I'll be in real trouble.  Personally I think the pain is just healing pain.  It's still pain, though.  I wish I could say those 4 ibuprofen took it away, but they didn't.  They just took the edge off.  I'm too embarassed at my inability to cope with the pain to call and ask for more vicoden.  Since I walk everywhere it wouldn't matter.

Moral of the story is, nobody can tell you how painful it will be for you, or if you will swell, etc.  This is SURGERY, so don't let anyone make you think it's just a walk in the park!  If I had been more prepared for how long the pain would last I would have probably made other plans at work, etc.  Better to be realistic/cautious.  I'm hoping a week is enough time to feel better because I do have to start my new job in a week.  I'm not upset with my surgeon or anything.  He did his job and probably pretty darn well, at that, considering how far gone my natural gums were down there.  It's just how it goes, sometimes.  I do wish I had more pain pills, though.  My outlook would be much brighter and I'd be able to get some stuff done!  The pain just won't stop!
26-30, F
5 Responses Jul 2, 2007

Oh my god you just described my experience! I also had my procedure done on a Thursday at 8am and the office was closed for the holidays till Tuesday! Today is Tuesday (day 5) and I had to go in as an emergency bc i bled profusely from my palate last night, out of nowhere. My poor fiancé ran out at 2am to get teabags to help stop the bleeding. It stopped about an hour and a half after it started. Doc said everything looks to be healing great and he cut off one of the stitches that seemed to have gotten yanked, causing the trouble. I told him about the itchiness and he wasn't aware of that feeling :S didn't think it was an allergy because I had itching on my gums close to my palate as well as the gums where the graft was placed... And he used two different types of stitches in those two areas. As it stands now, my palate is back to feeling really raw after feeling almost normal a day ago and my gums where the graft is are driving me insane with itch! The skin they cut that joins my lip to my gums on the inside bottom of my mouth isn't giving me pain anymore but still looks like a gaping hole :S I'm due back Thursday (day 7), hoping everything will have healed by then and I can finally go bk to life as normal!

I am on day 4 of the recovery and I'm utterly miserable! Flesh was removed from both sides of pallet and, while I was expecting stitches, I got sent home with two 1" slits and a stent. I'm out of oxycodone I had left over from earlier surgery and on the Narco he prescribed for me. Painkillers are wearing off after two hours but I'm under strict instructions not to take less than 4 hours apart.

I'm rinsing and avoiding hot foods and doing everything he instructed. Tomorrow is Sunday and I'm hoping it's a better day for me; right now I just want to curl up and die :(

Dude. I am not one of those people who believe that life is meant to be suffered through. I am on day 13 and I am taking a cocktail of ibuprofen, oxycodone and aspirin every 4 hours though I can actually sleep through the night now. I am very angry. My life has become nothing but pain experience and management.

Yeah, but with my dumb luck I'll get them and then the pain will go away on it's own! It's abut 10 PM on day 5 and I've taken the second, lower dose of Ibuprofen. Actually seems to be working OK. Just itchy now. Hopefully I can sleep through the night. I doubt it though, since silly me I went and drank a coffee at 6 PM...I still have half a sleeping pill from my pre-surgery meds...hmmmm....might be taking advantage of that tonight, as I could REALLY use some decent sleep! <br />
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I'm not used to so much chemistry, though. Did I mention my dermatologist has me on Prednisone for my skin irritation (she thinks it's due to airborne mold spores)? That might be keeping me up, too. Can't wait to be back to normal.

Hey, if you need then pain pills, then you need them. Call and ask. Better than being in agony for the next few days.